Current Affairs March 07, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of March 07, 2019 in Short Notes form for preparation of IBPS, Banking, CLAT, SSC, Railway, UPSC, IAS/PCS, UPPSC, BPSC, MPPSC, RPSC, TNPSC, MPSC, KPSC and all other competitive examinations of India.

1. The Tripura government has launched a one-month project - Notun Disha (new direction) to provide training to school teachers. In it, the state government has decided to distribute laptops to 800 school teachers to assess the level of students’ development in different disciplines. Here, 800 teachers would be selected for the training, and selected NGOs, societies or educational institutions would provide them training. In February 2019, the state government held a survey to assess the educational status of students between third and eighth standard in government schools. The survey report has revealed that 60% of students (equal to 51,599) in the fifth standard cannot read Bengali language textbook from the second standard. Apart from this, as per the survey, 46% of the surveyed students cannot do subtraction and 81% students do not know how to solve division problems. Hence, the aim of the Notun Disha is to make the students efficient and capable in all subjects from the 3rd to 8th standard.

2. The government policy think tank, Niti Aayog has recently released Delta ranking report. In it, the Hailakandi district of Assam has been ranked first among the 112 aspirational districts of India, followed by Kondagaon district of Chhattisgarh. Hailakandi has made a giant leap from 52nd position to no. 1 position on the basis of its performance during November-December 2018 and January 2019. For securing the first rank as an aspirational district, Hailakandi will be given an allocation of Rs. 10 crore.

3. Indore has been adjudged India's cleanest city for the 3rd straight year in the central government's cleanliness survey ‘Swachh Survekshan 2019’. The second and third positions in the category were grabbed by Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh and Mysore in Karnataka. The Swachh Survekshan awards 2019 were conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind at a function in New Delhi. Top ranked cities received a statue of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi as award for their work towards cleanliness. Every year, cities and towns across India are awarded with the title of 'Swachh Cities' on the basis of their cleanliness and sanitation drive as a part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan that was launched in 2014. Three cities Indore, Bhopal and Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh bagged top awards. It was hat trick for Bhopal too. Bhopal was adjudged the cleanest capital city in the 2019 survey. Ujjain was awarded Cleanest Medium city in 3 lakh to one million category. While the New Delhi Municipal Council area was given the 'Cleanest Small City' award, Uttarakhand's Gauchar was adjudged the 'Best Ganga Town' in the central government survey. The 'Cleanest Big City' award has been bagged by Ahmedabad, while Raipur is the 'Fastest Moving Big City'.

4. The Israeli spacecraft “Beresheet” on it’s first-ever moon mission has recently sent its first selfie back to Earth. The image showing part of the Beresheet spacecraft with Earth in the background was beamed to mission control in Yehud, Israel -- 37,600 km away. Earlier, on 22nd February 2019, the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and NGO SpaceIL launched the unmanned spacecraft Beresheet from Cape Canaveral in Florida on 22nd February 2019. The 585-kg Beresheet (Genesis) spacecraft took off on a Falcon 9 rocket from the private US-based SpaceX company of entrepreneur Elon Musk. It is the Israel’s first-ever moon mission that will measure the lunar magnetic field to help understanding of the moon's formation. So far, only Russia, the US and China have made the 239,000 mile (384,000km) journey and landed on the moon. For Israel, the landing itself is the main mission, but the spacecraft also carries a scientific instrument to measure the lunar magnetic field, which will help understanding of the moon’s formation. It also carries a time capsule loaded with digital files containing a Bible, children’s drawings, Israeli songs, the recollections of a Holocaust survivor and the Israeli flag.

5. On 4th March 2019, the World Bank (WB) and the Government of India (GoI) has signed a $250 million loan agreement for the National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) to boost Rural Incomes across 13 States in India. The loan will help women in rural households develop viable enterprises for farm and non-farm products. The $250-million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a 5-year grace period, and a final maturity of 20 years. The key focus of the NRETP will be to promote women-owned and women-led farm and non-farm enterprises across value chains; to enable them to build businesses that help them access finance, markets and networks; and to generate employment. The NRETP is an additional financing to the $500-million National Rural Livelihoods Project (NRLP) approved by the World Bank in July 2011. The NRLP, which is currently being implemented across 13 states, 162 districts and 575 blocks, has so far mobilised more than 8.8 million women from poor rural households into 7.5 lakh Self-Help Groups (SHGs).

6. Union Minister Dr. Mahesh Sharma has recently inaugurated ‘Azaadi Ke Diwane’ museum at the Red Fort premises in New Delhi. The museum is dedicated to the unsung heroes of the country’s freedom struggle and is built by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). It is a modern, state-of-the-art, informative and educational exhibition involving multi-sensory technology to engage the visitors. The ‘Azaadi Ke Diwane’ is the 5th in a series of recently inaugurated ones — the others being the Subhash Chandra Bose and INA museum, the Yaad-e-Jallian museum, the Museum on 1857 (on the India’s first war of Independence) and the Drishyakala (a museum on Indian Art) — on the sacrifices of India’s freedom fighters.

7. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, a Kuwaiti politician and sports administrator, has been re-elected president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) for an 8th term despite being embroiled in a forgery case brought by Swiss investigators. Sheikh Ahmad is considered a major powerbroker in world sport & won a new five-year term until 2024.The OCA is a governing body of sports in Asia, currently with 45 member National Olympic Committees. The headquarters of the OCA is located at Kuwait City.

8. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has launched 22 permanent Global Positioning System (GPS) stations across India to identify seismically hazardous zones and encourage mapping activities. The 22 GPS-Geodetic (pertaining to Geodesy, the science of earth measurement) observatories are located in Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Jaipur, Pune, Dehradun, Chennai, Jabalpur, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Raipur, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Gandhinagar Vishakhapatnam, Agartala, Itanagar, Mangan, Jammu, Lucknow, Nagpur, Shillong and Little Andaman. These stations are meant to delineate high strain zones for earthquake probability, determine a seismic motion on faults that may lead to a rupture and produce thematic maps with high positional accuracy. The new 13 stations will be located in Aizawl, Faridabad, Uttarkashi, Pithoragarh, Cooch Behar, Zawar, North Andaman, Middle Andaman, South Andaman, Ranchi, Mangalore, Imphal and Chitradurga.

9. P Venkata Ramesh Babu, a 1985 batch IAS officer, has been appointed as the director-general of the National Archives of India (NAI). Prior to this post, he was CMD of Rural Electrification Corporation Limited. The NAI is a repository of the non-current records of the Government of India (GoI) and holds them in trust for the use of administrators and scholars. It functions as an Attached Office of the Department of Culture under the Ministry of Culture.

10. ‘The New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019’ has recently signed by the five rhino range nations – India, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia - for the conservation and protection of the species at the recently held 2nd Asian Rhino Range Countries meeting in New Delhi. The declaration was signed to conserve and review the population of the Greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran rhinos every four years to reassess the need for joint actions to secure their future. The declaration includes undertaking studies on health issues of the rhinos, their potential diseases and taking necessary steps; collaborating and strengthening wildlife forensics for the purpose of investigation and strengthening of transboundary collaboration among India, Nepal and Bhutan for the conservation and protection of the Greater one-horned rhino. The meet was organized by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in collaboration with IUCN Asian Rhino Specialist Group, WWF- India and Aaranyak.

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